Fired Lyft driver who called 911 multiple times on rider speaks out
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - A former Lyft driver speaks out tonight, after making multiple calls to 911 on a rider nearly a month ago.
Lee Lazarus says he pulled into a Harding Place shopping center to wait for police to arrive to get his passenger out. According to the driver of nearly a year, he just picked up the man at the airport. The passenger then requested additional stops to pick up some items, something Lyft allows according to its policies with some limitations.
Lazarus explains the passenger, "He was very rude. He was like you're going to make stops. I am going to force you to make stops and he started putting the information into the Lyft app and the guy had an attitude.I thought it would be more cordial to end the ride there. He was going to be spending 5-10 minutes in each spot...takes a driver's time. There was never any demand for money. "
Lazarus says he suggested a $5 cash tip, but the concern...
"The ride was not ended until after the police got there. I was not going to end the ride because I was scared he wouldn't exit the car. The money isn't what was concerning me here..what's concerning me was the danger to myself and possibly to others in the area. I didn't know if he had a weapon... I don't have any prejudice."
Fox 17 News obtained the three 911 calls that Lazarus made to Metro Police on that night. He says it took officers 15 minutes to arrive on scene. In the calls, Lazarus explains his concern for safety. Dispatch asked the driver if he had seen any weapons on the passenger, if the rider had any signs of being under the influence...Lazarus stated he was unsure, but did not see any weapons.
"911 is the only method that I had at that point to do anything when my life could've been in danger," says Lazarus.
Metro Police say no report was taken and no one faced any citations. Lazarus says he faced a local news report weeks later.
"Totally misconstrued report on the part of East Nashville News. I am a good driver. I have a 4.8 rating with Lyft before deactivation. They have not communicated with me since, and refuse to answer my calls and emails. It says 0 rides but I actually have over 500. Hopefully, they will do the right thing and reactivate my account. As far as East Nashville News is concerned, I may take legal action," says Lazarus.
Fox 17 News reached out to Lyft for comment and will update this story with any response.